Surprise Birthday Party

Upon return­ing to Rich­mond after the VA Beach Half-marathon, we were pret­ty much in the mood to take it easy. We spent most of the time here around the house, all being pret­ty tired. Mon­day morn­ing was labor day, and Jason J. treat­ed the house to a big stack of waf­fles. Now, I hear that some folks down in Cookeville take their waf­fles pret­ty seri­ous­ly, and Jason seems to know what he’s doing (although, I’d put Ange­la’s bak­ing up against any­bod­ies — have I men­tioned what a lucky hus­band I am?). He even made sure we had some maple syrup to top off those square grids of deli­cious­ness. Hav­ing had a rather large break­fast at around 11:00 am, none of us felt much need for lunch. Jason, Matt, and I stayed home with me hang­ing up some pho­to frames while Angela and Sta­cie went shoe shop­ping.

On The Lee Pedestrian Bridge

Me, Angela, Jason J., Sta­cie, and Matt all pose for a pho­to on the Lee Pedes­tri­an Bridge in Rich­mond, VA.

That after­noon, we drove around Rich­mond for a lit­tle while since Matt had nev­er been here before. We stopped at Tre­de­gar Iron Works and walked over the Lee Pedes­tri­an Bridge. I had hopes of tak­ing some pho­tographs of the bridge for wall art, but as it turned out, Angela had some secret plans which required get­ting back home. In my bliss­ful igno­rance, I drove us back home. Jason, Matt, and I went off on some­thing of a fool’s errand while Angela and Sta­cie stayed behind (Jason claimed he want­ed to buy a mem­o­ry card read­er). We hur­ried and then wait­ed while Jason was receiv­ing radio com­mands from the moth­er­ship as to when we were to arrive back home. I remained unaware that I was the cen­tral pawn in much larg­er events than elec­tron­ics or gro­cery shop­ping. Upon return­ing home, the only strange tip-off I might have got­ten was that there seemed to be a lot of traf­fic on our block. I mut­tered to myself that the neigh­bors must have com­pa­ny over. As I opened the front door to our house:


More Party GoersParty Goers

Lot’s of smil­ing faces; per­haps because they’d nev­er seen me so speech­less before.

…a liv­ing room full of all our friends! Angela had thrown togeth­er a sur­prise par­ty for my 30th birth­day. I had been com­plete­ly fooled. I mean, who expects a sur­prise birth­day par­ty ten days after their birth­day, par­tic­u­lar­ly when their wife’s birth­day is in two more days? I was com­plete­ly at a loss for words for the next fif­teen min­utes, which is unlike me around our friends and fam­i­ly. I dis­tinct­ly remem­ber ask­ing my friend Travis when his 30th birth­day was com­ing around and he kind­ly remind­ed me it had been months ear­li­er, and I had been at his sur­prise par­ty (although he appar­ent­ly had fig­ured out what was going on before hand, unlike me).

Well, Angela had got­ten us ten Bot­tom’s Up piz­zas and a large assort­ment of cup­cakes for food. Instead of just hav­ing every­body bring me presents, we had a White Ele­phant par­ty (called a Dirty San­ta par­ty in my fam­i­ly at Christ­mas). That proved to be great fun, and far bet­ter than just watch­ing the birth­day boy open up a bunch of cards. You can see some of the best pho­tos from the par­ty on Flickr. We had all the peo­ple who had birth­day’s in the months of August and Sep­tem­ber get togeth­er for the singing of Hap­py Birth­day, which proved to be about a third of the party.

I’d said all along that I felt great being 30, and that par­ty real­ly only made me feel even bet­ter. I have a lot of great friends, and it was real­ly won­der­ful to get to see so many of them all over hav­ing such a great time. I real­ly want to say thanks to every­one who came and to Angela and the TN friends who schemed on this thing with her. It real­ly meant a lot to me.

By Jason Coleman

Structural engineer and technical content manager Bentley Systems by day. Geeky father and husband all the rest of time.

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